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Kristi Gilbert: Spending Easter at Home in Q-Town

The long drive to Quincy was well worth its weight in colorful eggs.

Every spring for Easter, we load up the family and make our way to my hometown, Quincy, Ill. (known as Q-Town to its natives) to visit my sister and her family.

It's a five-hour drive, which can prove to be a challenge when you've got a 2-and-a-half-year-old and 5-month-old in the back seat. Lucky for us, our infant is an angel and the DVR puts toddler into a Toy Story trance, leaving us free to enjoy the drive without screams from the back. (Translation: Ken drives while I play on my iPad.) 

We arrived on Friday and got settled in. We were treated to a delicious dinner, compliments of my sis and brother-in-law, while our daughters ran and played their little hearts out.

On Saturday, we went to the Quincy Country Club for their annual Easter Egg Hunt. I must say that my little Ava looked like a mini cupcake in her pink fluffy dress—easily the cutest she has ever looked in her more than two years. (See the picture above.) 

Ava was indeed excited about the egg hunt, but what really got her attention were the "neighs" that could be heard over the hustle-bustle! There were eight ponies, attached to a carousel, that were giving the kids rides. She was the happiest I have ever seen. And Ken, too—he loves doing those daddy-daughter things. She is definitely her daddy's girl! 

They had set up multiple egg hunts for different age groups. Ava was in the 1-4 age group. We were the first family on the scene, scouting out the lay of the land, and looking for the coveted golden egg. Well, I will have you know that I ... Ava, I mean ... found the golden egg. That meant she got to pick out a huge basket full of girlie loot! She didn't care much about that basket, though. She was having too much fun getting propelled like a rocket in the bounce house, which was so fun to watch. She looked like a pink puffball, bouncing up and down, squealing with laughter. Nothing better!

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After the egg hunt, we went home to wind down and spent the evening dying eggs, making a Pinterest-inspired Peeps cake while the girls watched Hop, a cute little movie about E.B. (Easter Bunny).

We feasted on mini sliders and crack potatoes, and by midnight, after all the "prep" was done, we were all tucked in, prepared for an early morning with our little egg-hunters.

Lucky for us, we didn't get the typical 6 a.m. wake-up call; the kids slept in until 8 a.m. When we went into the living room, we were delighted to see Easter eggs everywhere! The girls were going ballistic! For my sister’s sake, I hope the kids found all of the eggs; it would be a shame for one of the hardboiled eggs to go missing. Can you imagine the smell? Ick! Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm a little mad at myself for not hiding one and pranking her. 

Sadly, though, we missed church for the first time in a long time due to the five-hour trek to get back home. And there’s nothing like "adult relaxation" ads flooding the billboards along I-80 to put you in the Easter spirit. 

When we finally arrived home, Ava tore into her Easter basket, filling her mouth with nothing but chocolate and sugar for two solid hours. (Awesome.) So I decided to put the kite that the Easter Bunny brought to good use and she ran her little heart out in our backyard, trying to fly the kite in zero-wind conditions. She basically dragged it across the yard for an hour. Good times. 

All in all, it was a great weekend. For us, visiting family always proves to be well worth the trip. Sometimes it saddens me that our family is so spread across the country, especially when our kids are so small. They grow so fast and it seems like an eternity when we go without seeing one another for months at a time. But then again it's got it's perks, too; Ken and I get to travel to Florida and Michigan to visit out parents—both of which have beautiful scenery and good home-cooked meals. (Not to mention, free room and board with easy access to the beach!)

So the Easter tradition in Quincy will continue—at least until Ken can’t take it anymore! He's a good sport, that man of mine. 

Joe O'Donnell (Editor) April 09, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Hey Kristi, Do your kids like the Easter Bunny or fear the Easter Bunny? Some small kids (not saying WHO) have thought that the constant, clownish smile isn't the most genuine, and is kind of creepy. By the picture, though, it looks like they like him.
Kristi Gilbert April 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Hi Joe- I was pleasantly surprised! She loved the Easter Bunny! Santa Claus is an entirely different story though.

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